Navigating the dating scene is tricky. At times, it can seem like there are an infinite number of potential mates out there. At other times, it feels like there are none at all. How does one filter through all the bad matches to find a compatible partner? In recent years, technology has infiltrated the dating scene in a major way. Sites like Match.com and cell phone apps like Tinder look to streamline the dating process, helping people to reach a wider network of people and eliminate the bad matches quickly and anonymously.
While social networking and cyberspace have come a long way to help foster interpersonal connections, there are still some essential human elements lacking. Enter “Carbon Dating,” a new dating app that centers around video. Carbon Dating was launched a few months ago in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and it will be coming to UC Berkeley, its first college campus, this fall.
Carbon Dating’s founder, Galen Hall, who graduated from UC Berkeley in 2008, spoke to the Clog about his time at Cal and his experience launching the app.
After getting involved in a few business ventures and startups during his time as a UC Berkeley undergrad, he decided to go straight to business school at Stanford University. He found that the data analysis side of business was where his interest lay. During his free time, Hall played online poker.
“I wasn’t into the corporate world. I really like looking at complex sets of data and finding new ways to understand them,” Hall said. “Most markets are straightforward. Poker involves messy sets of data, which piqued my interest.”
Hall found that the types of data sets used in poker-playing strategies are similar to the algorithms used to match personality types.
“I noticed the resemblance and thought that I could use my skills to improve the dating formulas,” he said.
What sets Carbon Dating apart from other dating apps is its ability to gather video-based information. Apps like Tinder and Hinge compile hundreds of matches at once, but these matches don’t always translate to real life. The user may not know anything about the person and who they really are. Carbon Dating users fill out a questionnaire and then upload a video of themselves to their profile.
“Videos offer more powerful information about a person, more narrowly defined characteristics. What is their sense of humor like? How do they speak? It’s not a static way to understand someone,” Hall said. “Carbon Dating is catered to a rich content of data. This is valuable because we don’t want users to waste time going on bad dates.”
Users are matched up with three other daters, out of which they can choose one to contact.
“This app overlays choice and conditionality. Because there is a confirmation bias — both users picked each other over two others — the choices have already been narrowed down quite a bit,” Hall said.
Hall is hoping that UC Berkeley students, with their busy social lives and large network of contacts, will find this app useful. Hall’s on-campus ambassadors, Jay Prober and Henry Marble, will be working to promote the app and encouraging the Cal community to create profiles.
“Some of our ideas to market the app include offering incentives for creating profiles, print advertisement and a sticker campaign. We plan to host events with a Carbon Dating demo beforehand, then go to fun venues in and around the Bay Area. Because Carbon Dating offers users an exciting and engaging mobile dating experience, we want to hold events that highlight these qualities,” Prober said.
The Carbon Dating team is always looking for students who want to get involved. If you are interested in working as an ambassador, a operations intern or a cross-campus coordinator, you can email [email protected]
Image Sources: Courtesy, Galen Hall
Daniela Grinblatt is the Assistant Blog Editor. Contact her at [email protected]